Jacksonville Police Officer “demonstrated gross incompetence”

Sgt. Roderic Feacher, a police officer at JSO for 12 years, was suspended for 10 days without pay for a road rage incident in April. He was driving his personal car, not patrol car, and claims he was run off the road by another driver.

The JSO officer then followed the other driver, Charles Rowe, to his home. Feacher then got out of his car and identified himself as an officer, but was not in uniform, did not have a badge, did not have a gun, and did not have any law enforcement tools. Feacher ordered Rowe to come off his property many times and when Rowe rightly refused, accounts say Feacher threw 3 unprovoked punches with 2 of which hit Rowe. Witnesses also say Feacher choked Rowe.

The State Attorney’s Office did not file criminal charges against Feacher, but JSO internal affairs reduced the battery reprimand to unbecoming conduct, improper action, and disorderly conduct. JSO Chief, Wayne Clark, said that Feacher’s behavior “demonstrated gross incompetence”. In his 12 years on the police force, Feacher has had 13 complaints against him and was ordered to counseling once in 2000.

Although he will receive a 10 day no-pay suspension, Feacher will not face jail time or a fine and will be able to resume his normal police duties. The average (non-police) citizen would have been arrested, at a minimum, for simple battery. A battery charge is when someone touches another person against their will or intentionally harms another. The average citizen would have been arrested, forced to pay a bond to be released from jail, and fight their case in court. The average citizen would have faced a year in jail and a large fine.

Feacher will be allowed to wear the uniform of authority, even though he has “demonstrated gross incompetence” and has been ordered to counseling in the past. He will be allowed to shoot an average citizen with immunity, as there has never been an unjustified police shooting in Jacksonville. Do we want police officers with bad tempers and bad judgment on the streets of Jacksonville, especially as a Sgt.?